The Backwoods

Where we teeter between our love of modern convenience and the yearning for something long past; a world where neighbors knew your name and a “Friend Request” was eye contact and a smile.

Realistic Advice To Teenage Girls

Posted · 151 Comments

 Because naive parenting leads to unprepared teenagers…

Nobody really looks like that.  Stop trying to achieve the impossible.

That eighty dollar pair of jeans looks exactly the same as that thirty dollar pair of jeans.

In ten years you will be nothing like the person you are today.   I know you don’t believe me.  But please try not to embarrass the future you.

Having a baby as a teenager is fun for about six minutes.  And then all your friends get tired of holding the baby and slowly drift away, back to their silly, teenager lives.  Your silliness is over.

Learn how to swing a hammer, change your oil and flip a breaker.

It does not hurt him when you say, “NO”.  He will not explode and die like he may try to convince you.

Do not text pictures of your body to teenage boys.  I can’t even begin to explain how this cheapens you.

Makeup should be worn so that it looks like it’s not being worn.

You will remember your first time your entire life.  Make sure he’s worth remembering.

Do not post Facebook pictures of yourself scantily dressed in your bathroom mirror.  Everyone hates it.

If you must, a two drink limit keeps things in perspective.

Learn to cook.

You do not have to be tomorrow, who you were yesterday.

If you have to look in the mirror more than twice a day, you are spending too much time on your looks.

There is a fine line between sexy and sleazy. If you don’t know what the line is, you are probably sleazy.

Showing your cleavage is not what attracts him.  He knows what’s in there and his imagination is even more generous than your proportions.  Cover yourself a bit…and give him something to think about.

Wear comfortable shoes.

Nobody noticed that zit until you pinched the crap out of it.  Smile, they will only notice your gleam.

Sometimes lust feels like love.  Identify the difference as soon as possible and you will have fewer regrets.

If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to know you are doing it, don’t do it.

Jeans and a t-shirt always wins.

Playing stupid only makes you look stupid.

He is not going to change.  No, he’s not.  Stop arguing.  You can’t fix him.

Peer pressure is no excuse for stupidity.

If he says the words, “But, if you loved me you would…” run the other direction. Don’t walk, run.

There will be moments later in life when you wonder what the Hell you were thinking back then.  At each pivotal moment of your teenage years, ask yourself whether this could be one of them.

151 Responses to "Realistic Advice To Teenage Girls"
  1. sally says:

    So true…I also tell my daughter the same advice about turning and running when someone says, “Trust me.”

  2. Black Sheep Mom says:

    I love love love this. Thank you.

  3. Kate says:

    I can’t help but disagree that we should teach our children that they’re sleazy for having on a low cut shirt or wearing “too much” makeup. As a girl with big boobs I’m just very passionate about making sure people address this properly with their children. People always told me to “put my boobs away!” and it was awful. It wasn’t my fault I was born with a big chest, not my fault a v neck looked different on me than the other high schoolers. I do think it’s good to let girls know that the world is harsh and will judge you based on what you wear…people are judgmental and closed minded therefore unflattering (not “too much” mind you) makeup and tight or revealing clothing will make them think you are “cheap” or “a slut”. It’s a sad reality so plan accordingly but ultimately: it doesn’t matter what they think about your appearance as long as you feel radiant. I think it’s most important to tell a girl she’s beautiful without all of it, that at the core of who she is she is perfect and she is allowed to decorate the exterior how ever she feels most confident.

    I feel I’m not exactly your usual target audience on here. I feel horrible in jeans and a tshirt and I like having dramatic makeup and tattoos. Yes my clothes are tight and low cut and I did lose my virginity very early…but I’m also well spoken and bubbly and potentially the most happy person I know. I think a girl has to know the world and it’s unwritten rules so she can break them and be EXACTLY who she wants and needs to be for herself.

    Also if you don’t want to be told what you should have written close the comments. People are on here to share ideas and discuss a topic…a blog is a big load of horse shit without readers that want to talk with you. You only want people to write how correct and awesome you are? I know people can be pushy and odd but really? “start your own blog then!” just seemed weird.

  4. hillery441 says:

    who gives the advice?

  5. Marni says:

    Thank you soo much , I’m a teen and I’ve just sent this to all the girls I know , THANKS SO. MUCH U SAVED US ALL FROM A TERRIBLE LIFE , THANKS AGAIN , please make more 🙂

  6. Practical16 says:

    very nice advice, i like it so much 

  7. musk-stick says:

    I can not thank you enough for writing this.  I read it first when I was 18, and now at 19 I keep going back to it.  Thank you for making me realise that some of the decisions I am making are right for me and that peer pressure is a stupid, stupid thing  🙂

  8. Jane M says:

    I’d like to comment on the truth of remembering your first time your entire life…I am lucky enough to be part of a great group of women friends.  There are eight of us, and last winter we went on a snowshoeing weekend.  One night in the cabin after dinner we sat around the table (with some wine) and each told the story of our first time.  We are all in our 50’s, and each remembered all the details….your first time truly is a memory that never goes away.

  9. Guest says:

    I am a teenage girl (18years), and all of this couldn’t be more true. 
    Am I guilty of almost all of it. Sure am, but reading this opened my eyes!
    I realized that beauty isn’t defined by your jean size, and that looking into magazine shouldn’t make us feel so bad. That once you are out of high school you aren’t worried about american eagle, Hollister, or any other expensive brands. Not when my rent is 750$, and I sometimes struggle to make that. When it comes to sex, love, lust, babies, marriage, and everything in between here is what I can tell you about my personal experience. Sex IS important. When I read the comments about how it doesn’t matter if you have sex before marriage, and it doesn’t matter with how many people it scares me. I guess whoever wrote that will never know the beauty in waiting until marriage, or even just waiting for the right man (not boy) who comes along for them. We are beautiful, and strong, independent, smart, and things like sex should matter to us. Where have all of the classy girls gone? I am only 18 years old so i KNOW I have a lot more to learn, a lot more mistakes to make, and a lot more life to live, but I can tell you that I am so grateful for adults who take a second to call me (and any other teenage girl) on our crap!(:

    The future me wont be the past me, and even thought the past me has made a TON of mistakes the future me doesn’t blame her. The future me has learned from every single one. We ladies are young, and we make mistakes, but what adult can say that they never have? I am so thankful for your witty, but honest take on something that most adults don’t even poke at with a 10 foot pole. 

    • Virginia Fell says:

      If waiting for marriage is the thing that you need to do, then I hope you get plenty of support for doing it and find the right person to take that step with.

      I did want to add, just in case my comments were some of the ones you were referring to about how it “doesn’t matter if you have sex before marriage,” that I did wait to have sex until I found the man I ended up marrying, but that I support the right of other people to make different decisions if their lives and personalities and emotional needs are different from mine. Being sexually active isn’t one-size-fits-all, and not all sexual choices (including the choice to abstain entirely until marriage) are going to work for everyone. That doesn’t mean that any of us lack self-respect, lack class, or values, or morality, or whatever. It just means that our lives are different.

      Sex can matter and we can be strong and beautiful and independent without going all-or-nothing. There’s a broad middle ground between “never have sex until the papers are signed” and “screw anything that’ll consent and hold still long enough.” Nobody on that spectrum (including the people at the extremes, like you) are necessarily making bad choices.

      So again. I hope that you have all the support you need as you decide what kind of sexual lifestyle is going to do you the most good (whether that conviction stays the same or changes), because I believe everybody deserves that respect as a thinking, moral person. I would just also hope that others get the same consideration from you, even if they are not living like you.

      All the best, and good luck on the rent. Been there! 🙂

  10. Guest says:

    personally as kid at 14 myself, i dont think most girls dress wrong, i mean people call it sleazy, or groose, but those girls, are just being themseleves, if they are a sleazy person, there going to dresss like that. us girls are what we dress and show other people. we are who we are, and we should not be judged, or be called namess for the way we protray oursleves. some girls look in the mirror more than twice because, theymay have low self essteem. think about that. think about it a different way before you go and think teenagers, are at the wrong.

  11. Ahomeschoolstory says:

    Thank you, I am emailing this to my fifteen year old daughter right now!

  12. Aidano0708 says:

    Love this!!! I want every teenager I know to read this!!!

  13. Binklebomb says:

    This is fabulous.  I can’t wait to share it.  Thanks Mom!

  14. Nico says:

    There are certainly some very valid points here, however, I think expressing your sexuality as a teenage (late teenager hopefully) is a important part of learning about who you are, and repressing those very natural instincts is detrimental to becoming a sexually rounded adult in the future. (Also insinuating that women are no longer attractive after they have a baby is ludicrous.)

  15. Grandma says:

    Waiting is worth it.  Those who say it is not are probably trying to justify themselves. 

     I am concerned about the comments about limiting drinks to two.  It is illegal for teens to drink – just say no to drugs, alcohol, and sex. 

    Plenty of time for alcohol in moderation when you are grown and lots of sex when you are married.

    • Kuildeous says:

      who say it is not are probably trying to justify themselves.”


      careful of what you attribute to others. I could just as easily claim that
      you’re saying that to justify your own decision.


      fact is that in the whole “waiting vs. not waiting” debate, no one
      side can really know that it’s superior. Those who waited for marriage cannot
      claim that it’s better because they never had sex before marriage. Meanwhile,
      those who claim that it’s better to try out the husband before marriage cannot
      claim that it’s better than waiting because they didn’t wait. It’s impossible
      for one person to test drive a man AND to wait until marriage. Thus, I hold any
      such claim that one is better than the other in suspicion. You CAN’T know.


      most cases, the first sex claimed by both camps is amazing. Why? Because sex is
      indeed awesome, and it’s generally a good feeling—barring those instances where
      one person feels pressured or doesn’t really want to in the first place.


      anecdotal evidence is shoddy. There are people who loved waiting for marriage,
      and there are people who wish they had “sown their wild oats” while
      they were young. There are people who loved premarital sex, and there are people
      who felt like they were missing something. People are different; your own
      personal belief doesn’t always apply to someone else. Identifying the correct
      tack for someone to take is tough, and that’s why parenting is such a difficult

  16. Springofbeing says:

    Hmmm, the Mother in me appreciated this.  The teenager in me didn’t really, in fact I think she said screw you you don’t understand me and took off to the mall.

  17. M Figart says:

    I wish I had a copy of this in Spanish for my kid in Mexico.

  18. Shari Harper says:

    Thank you.. I have passed this on to my daughter (who I have no problems at all with, thank heavens) and two young women who.. well.. are having issues. I hope they heard these words..

  19. Jdmakowski74 says:

    Loved the advice.  I don’t think any young woman would be afraid of sex from what you have posted.  When my daughter was 13 and these topics came up I made sure to bring emothins into the sex discussion.  ow different things would feel really good and how easy it is to swept away by your emotions, etc.  She came to me one day and said she and her friends had been talking and that not one of their mothers had brought any of this into their discussions.  Only intercourse itself.

    I really liked it when one of the responders said to ask them how they would feel if they saw you wearing the same things they are now wearing.  Fashion goes around and comes around..

    My mother gave me a Redbook magazine to read in front of my step-father and brothers.  I couldn’t pronounce the words much less understand them.  Then she asked me if I had any questions in front of them.  Not conducive to finding out much.

  20. Sally the Enforcer!!! says:

    I just have to disagree with one item.  Jeans and a T-shirt always wins if you are in “the laziest person alive” contest.

    Learning to dress appropriately is an extremely important part of becoming a successful, mature person.  I often have to interview young candidates for job openings at my company, and I am totally amazed (and not in a good way) how many people, both male and female, show up for interivews totally innaproprietly dressed.  I don’t care what the job is, jeans and a T-shirt is not a winning combination in job interviews. 

    And, if you go to church, jeans and a T-shirt is NEVER apporpriate.  If you are in church, you are their to praise and worship your God.  Please show Him the respect that that implies by dressing appropriately.  It doesn’t have to be a formal gown (or a coat and tie for boys), but at least put some effort in it. 

    • Sally, this blog was intended for “teenage girls”…most of whom struggle with their clothing choices. If I were to write a book about the subject I would obviously include when it is appropriate to dress up and when it is appropriate to dress down. But this is not a book…it is a blog. It is written to be short, to the point, and to provoke thought. That is all. It is not the ONLY advice…just SOME advice.

      I live in remote Alaska. Jeans and t-shirt are appropriate…where I live. I see teen girls wearing shirt skirts and heels in the winter and I want to say, “Oh, honey…who are you trying to impress?” And that includes when my own girls dress for the look, rather than the weather.

      These opinions are mine, and you, of course, are entitled to yours. If I were to write a blog about everyone else’s opinion…what would be the point of that?

      And believe me when I say, MY GOD could care less whether I am wearing jeans or a dress…and the idea that HE cares what I wear to church, or anywhere, is completely ludicrous…in my opinion. HE is interested in my heart and soul, not my attire…no matter where I am. To say otherwise is to judge that someone without what you consider appropriate should not worship. Do I dress my children in nice, clean clothing for church? Of course…but if I sit next to someone who has holy jeans and a stained t-shirt, who is raising his hands to God in worship, I pray I am not looking down on him from my personal throne.

      • Marilyn Vanoort says:

        I don’t think that was meant to attack those who have not, but rather, those who do. There are many who put far more effort into a night out or a wedding than to worship… Is our Savior not worth the effort of getting a little dressed up?

    • Kuildeous says:

      Jesus hung out with rogues and whores. Think he’d care how you
      were dressed?


      Dressing up for church serves to impress the church. The
      real question is if you respect your preacher enough to dress up for him. And
      that varies from clergy to clergy. Some are very formal and some are pretty

    • Loving_mom_of_two says:

      I’m sorry but “GOD” does not care what you where seriously. As long as you are there and honor and praise him and follow his name. He could careless what you look like.

  21. Kimberly Mitchell says:

    Great advice for teens and 20-somethings. As the saying goes…”If I knew then what I know now….” 🙂

  22. Lori Hattori says:

    Stole this from a friend who posted it on her FB wall – and posted it on MY FB wall!!  Wish I had had someone say these eloquent things to me when I was a stupid teenage girl.  Wish I had thought to say all of them (though I give myself credit for SOME!) when MY girls were growing up!  One now 20, one 17 – a light at the end of the parental tunnel!!!!  🙂

  23. Mick A says:

    From a 16 year old boy, i definitely agree with this advice. Though it doesn’t cover every little aspects, it is very helpful, and should be spread to all our friends. Both boys and girls should read this. Girls, so they know what to do. Boys, so they know how to pick out those girls who know how precious they truly are, and so that they can help those girls who have not yet discovered their worth.

  24. Deborahkvaughan says:

    Maybe one more thing is when you have a baby and your not married /have no commitment…consider that baby as YOUR baby..No in-laws to help, many less breaks…no daddy equals no help/no time for college/school or friends or even a break unless your family helps and at that it isnt as much as you would like..So unless baby-daddy is in the picture and staying …your on your own…no money for you needs all the same things you do…and baby comes first …and it will be that way for at least the next 18 years…so before you decide to have unprotected sex remember YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN DESERVE better and ONLY you can make that happen for the YOU and YOUR FUTURE FAMILY…

  25. Becca says:

    I wish someone would have told me these things when I was a teenager….

  26. Kat says:

    thanks!!   this hits close to home with the pic sending to boys….mine is 15 and i was “shocked” at this. its true, when you are a teenager, you NEVER think about what you are doing, but it normally catches up with you… the reading!!!

  27. Guest says:

    Well done! You couldn’t have said it any better. I think kids every where should read this!

  28. David W. says:

    Thank you So much .These are things I don’t approach really ,BUT do worry about .This gives me an easy way to hopefully help Them get through a tough time .

  29. Mhfiler says:

    I know some grown a** women that need to read this as well!!!

  30. Jaquie says:

    Some of this is very good advice and some of it sounds as if this mother prefers to dress like a man rather than a woman. All women have boobs all women have cleavage, if it happens to peak out of your clothing once in a while it’s not the end of the world.  If you only look in the mirror only twice a day you obviously don’t wash your hands after using the toilet, after all there is usually a mirror at every bathroom sink and it is absolutely normal to glance or look at your self when you wash your hands…bottom line not all advice should be taken seriously!!!

    • Love Yourself says:

      Well if you are going to break down the advice, at least know what you ate talking about. To say she doesn’t wash her hands is a moronic attempt to excuse your insecurities and constant checking in the mirror. Obviously she doesn’t mean seeing yourself in the mirror, she means making at stop at the mirror specifically to see oneself. That is an insecurity. As for dressing like a man, again just a cheap shot… She is talking to young teenage girls, so yes it is fine to stay covered. You can look both beautiful and sexy while looking tasteful. A slight peak of the cleavage is much different than fully flaunting it, which I’m assuming you do or you would not have taken offense. Which is fine, but just because you do it, does not mean we have to encourage young girls to do it.

      • Tiffany says:

        I don’t think “making at stop at the mirror specifically to see oneself” is an insecurity, necessarily. Especially as a teenager–when she is trying to figure out her own style. I actually think it’s quite healthy to try out different looks & then see what one likes–& double-checking an hour later to see if what she tried is still working (not falling down, coming apart, etc.)–to avoid embarrassing accidents (other teenagers can be pretty cruel when something embarrassing happens). Now if it becomes an obsession, then I would consider it an insecurity. I would also consider it an insecurity if one avoids looking in the mirror at all or limits themselves to only twice a day b/c they don’t like looking at themselves. The key is balance which they can find with the help of their parents/loved ones & by participating in activities that focus on utilizing their other qualities as well.

      • Wilma Hurd says:

        Thank you, Sir, for pointing out the immaturity of some of these answers. That’s why the Helpful Hints have been drawn up!

  31. Katgrundy says:

    excellent advice from whom ever it was that wrote this. My daughter posted it, but does she demand it of her girls? Jury’s not in yet.

  32. Lisa Labelle says:

    I will definitely read this with my daughter, who is 11 and is already starting to talk about all of this.  GOD HELP ME!!!!

  33. Debbie says:

    As a teenage girl myself, I agree with every word you said! There are some girls who really need a reality check.

  34. cmcneice says:

    Love this.  It should be made into a video/song/poem/text and shown daily to teenage and tween girls. 

  35. Sue says:

    Well written and thorough … now i’d like to see the equivalent for our teenage boys!

  36. MmmmmmmmK says:

     I had fun done nothing, and YOU SHOULD TOO!  Let’s all just be sensible instead and nobody take any chances and we’ll all have barbecues and picnics and live in our Christmas sweaters just like everybody else, because being young is just like being middle-aged except you’re stupider, so take less chances and live life less.

    • Tehferalhamster says:

      The author is not saying that teens should live in a story-book bubble and never have fun or experiment, but rather to stop and think about what they’re doing now so they don’t get into serious trouble later. if you’re not a cop but wear the uniform, what are people going to think you are? Same goes for wearing inappropriate clothes.

      I had fun drinking very little, saying a definite no to my [rather spoilt, bullying and idiotic] first boyfriend, and wearing jeans and a t-shirt everywhere. I’m thankful that I had parents who didn’t lecture me on the evils of alcohol or specifically forbid any contact with the opposite sex, they would try to get me to be more “feminine” at times but that wasn’t who I was, or who I am now. I live in a completely different town, am happy with a man I’ve been with for 2 years (and is only the third I’ve slept with), know who I am and what I want, and have no regrets about what I did or didn’t do as a teen. I didn’t flaunt the things I barely had, stayed a child for as long as I wanted to, didn’t let anyone get the wrong idea about me or let myself be brow-beaten or dragged down by pressure from others to “fit in” where I didn’t belong. More girls should know that they are stronger than they think they are, and can do more and do better than what they think is the best that they can do: Wearing underwear, 6 inch heels and little else to go to the store, letting guys walk all over them so they are shown to be “wanted”, and then wondering why they get treated like crap…
      That ass-hat who tried to pull the “if you loved me…” trick on me to put out when I was 16, and broke up with me because his friends told him he was too young for a serious relationship? He’s unemployed, unqualified, and still a spoilt jackass (and his new girlfriend is an over-sensitive whine-factory in poorly fitting emo/scene gear). The guy who still won’t even call over to my house without express permission after 2 years together, and didn’t even think that I liked him as well until we were both told to get over it and get together? He has his own company and doesn’t care that his friends mock him for spending time with me instead of going out for beers with them. His nieces are fast approaching the age where they will need this advice, and I pray that I’ll be there to help give it to them.

    • I WAS doing to reply with an intelligent argument to this post…and then I clicked on your profile and discovered you have commented 75 times on a website about “Celebrities”…and decided we aren’t likely to agree on anything anyway.  Different strokes for different folks.  Thanks anyway. 

  37. Tlp23rocks says:

    I love this…and am reading it 14 years too late 😉 

  38. Doug says:

    If you think you are fat now, just wait 10 years. 

  39. Everydaymale says:

    What about high heels, the kitchen, and being quiet?

  40. Momofour says:

    Love your sassy way of expressing common sense.  I tell all my kids (my own, their friends, Sunday School class, students, pretty much any who are stuck in my moving vehicle…) very much the same thing with a couple of twists/exceptions:  If you’d be embarrassed to see PICTURES of ME or your grandmother doing/wearing it when we were your age, you should probably refrain from doing/wearing it. 

    No, everybody ISN’T having sex.  One of the greatest things about my marriage is that I’m married to the GREATEST LOVER in the world.  Interestingly, he’s not the greatest kisser.  Wanna know why?  because I’ve kissed other boys but I’ve never had sex with anyone else, so there’s nobody to compare him to…so to ME, he’s the world’s greatest.  That is a part of myself that ONLY he knows-which is important in a life-long commitment.  I don’t know a single person ever who regrets waiting until they married to have sex.  I do know people who regret not waiting.

    • Steve Tanner says:

      I don’t want to speak for you or others, but I have ZERO regrets about all the sex I had before getting married.  All that practice was important — and who wants to “save it” only to realize their spouse and first lover is lousy in bed?  Talk about regret!

      • Jackie Madacki says:

        I wonder how the sex may have impacted the women you practiced with before you were married…?

        • I’m not sure he cares, Jackie…ya might be wasting your breath/typing! 🙂

          • doogie100 says:

            He is a man.. less to loose.. Wait till he has his own then he just may get it.

          • Guest says:

            Well I’m not a man, and I never regretted having sex before marriage.  By moto was that marriage is forever, and why in the world would I not want to know absolutely everything I could about him and about our relationship so that I can be certain it’s right.  And whether people like to admit it or not, sex can change a relationship and it IS an important part of a marriage. And no, I don’t mean that if he was bad in bed it means he’s not marriage material, but there are a hundred other ways that it could turn ugly, bad, or just plain not fit. I never even considered waiting until marriage, and I advise against it.  Why willing leave such a big question mark for after the wedding? To me, it’s a very basic question, which is more important, sex or marriage?  Because unless you’re planning on a kinky wedding, one of them has to come first.  If you think marriage is more important, why do you have to guard the sex more than the marriage?

      • Candace says:

        Eh. Its not about saving it for marriage, its about saving it for someone who is WORTH it. Honestly, I knew from day one that I wanted to my first time to be special and memorable with someone I could trust. I got just that. 

    • Thanks…I like my sassy way, also! Kids listen to ‘sassy’… And I like the way you think..haha….what you don’t know, won’t hurt you! NICE!

      • rockgirl says:

        “what you don’t know CAN hurt you”, if you dont know about sex and how to be safe then you could end up in a bad situation. I think all kids/teenagers should know everything about sex so they are prepared. My parents shelter my baby sister (she’s 12 years younger then me)….it may be bad (im no parent) but i make sure to answer all questions she has, and i dont sugar coat it. When the time comes for her to lose her virginity, i want her to be well prepared, and i don’t want her to think she is a slut for losing it either, or to feel bad if she makes a man wait. If it takes her 100 guys to find the one, as long as she’s safe, i’ll be happy for her. My husband and I both have a very sexual past (partially due to my lack of parenting in that department, i actually thought if you didnt do it guys would hate you). My husband and I are better people, at least for each other, because of our experiences.

    • Jenny May says:

      I regret waiting. it’s a .25c piece of paper. had I not placed so much importance on it because of the pressures of my elders, I would have made much better choices in my life instead of winding up shackled to a man I never should have been involved with – but playing by outdated rules means you don’t get a chance to see the truth until it is too late.

      • This is a good point, Jenny.

      • LMerv says:

        Or you could have just taken your time to make a better choice in husbands.  Unless of course it was an arranged marriage and then you had no choice.

        • Virginia Fell says:

          As someone whose family has involved a lot of abusive relationships, I’m a little upset by your comment. If all you have to say to someone mentioning that they had a painful marriage is, “Sucks to be stupid like you,” then I really hope that you will be willing to try a little harder to understand people who’ve been through something that you don’t seem to be able to relate to.

          For the record, my great-grandmother was extremely pleased that I was living with my future husband for years before we got married. Why? Because she was tired of seeing young women in her family brutalized by men who didn’t deserve them. Her words to my mother for me were, “That’s good. Because you gotta know, dear, before you sign those papers. You gotta know that man. Just make sure she doesn’t get pregnant, now. They got PILLS for that now, y’know!” (She was awesome. She was also like ninety.)

          I am the first person in three generations of my family never to have been abused by a spouse (both men and women), and I really think that it’s because I was the first to be raised with more care for myself and my safety than for how closely I’m following someone else’s rules.

          To use your phrasing, LMerv, cohabitation and, yes, premarital sex are exactly how I took my time to make a better choice in husbands than the women of my family made before me. 

          And for the crop of slut-shaming that seems to have crept in with the abstinence-until-marriage crowd…

          For seven years I’ve been with the first men I slept with, but it didn’t have to be that way and if something happens and there’s a second man that I sleep with, he will not be getting any less worthy a partner just because she isn’t a virgin. I am not defined or diminished by what a man has or hasn’t done with me sexually. I was worthy of all the same respect as a virgin that I am now, because there is more to a woman than the market value of her virginity. 

          Honestly? I wish more young women were told that. Sex doesn’t make you dirty. It doesn’t make you less. It doesn’t make you deserving of nasty treatment from your boyfriend or spouse, your parents, your teachers, your minister, or your doctors. It’s just an experience you’ve had. Have it safely, have it on your own terms, and don’t let anybody use it as an excuse to cast you as the villain in your own life or theirs.

          • Wayfarerads says:

            There have been good and bad things about waiting. I waited…until I was legally of age plus a bit and I frankly am glad I did because even at 19 your hormones rage and judgment can be skewed by peer pressure and confusing lust for love. However, the one thing that always pissed me off as a teenager and even now so many years later is the double standard. If a guy has had sex with many he is a stud if a girl does she’s a whore and should be treated like crap. I hate that bs attitude. I have told my nieces I would prefer they wait, and also had the sex and contraception talks with them, but I have also said to them if someone says they should be virgins until marriage they should ask if the boys should be too. Sorry if I am not expressing myself clearly it’s 2:00am and I become a bit less coherent this time of night.

    • Erin says:

      Well, I appreciate where you’re coming from, momofour, but I as well did not wait, and so I can say with confidence that I’m married to the best lover in the world – for me.  Not becuase I haven’t experienced anything else.  I have, and there were many greats, but my husband is tops.  I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences – they were mostly wonderful, and they all help me to appreciate what I’ve found in my life partner – (sexual and non-sexual experiences).  I truly hope my two daughters do whatever is best for them – which might be marrying their first, or might be marrying their 50th!  🙂

      • Virginia Fell says:

        “I truly hope my two daughters do whatever is best for them – which might be marrying their first, or might be marrying their 50th!  :)”

        I really think it’s advice like this growing up that saved me from having to go through what women in my family went through before me. Thanks for your comment.

  41. Anna says:

    “You will remember your first time your entire life.  Make sure he’s worth remembering.” Shouldn’t EVERY one be worth remembering?

    • Of course…but I’m not sure it would be good advice to say, “Okay, so those twenty-six guys you are going to sleep with in the next five years as you flounder through your teens and college years…make sure they are decent fellows…otherwise you might regret it.” haha

    • Someone who cares says:

      No! Not everyone is worth remembering, most teenagers think they are mature enough for sex and when they do, it’s a traumatic experience for them. If you think having sex before you are married is okay, you obviously grew up with parents who didn’t care wether or not you went to parties, or you spent a ton of time alone with the opposite sex. I am grateful my parents cared enough about me to teach me what morals were. I had too many friends who had babies as young as 12 years old. Most of them were children of single mothers themselves. I am a firm believer that if your parents are both involved, your chances of being a pregnant teen is lessened than if you only had one persons example to look up to. As for the guy who said he doesn’t regret having sex with all these woman, you obviously have no self esteem either, and you have no respect for woman! That’s disgusting, and all I have to say is I’m glad I had nothing to do with you. 

      • Kuildeous says:

        “As for the guy who said he doesn’t regret having sex with all these woman, you obviously have no self esteem either, and you have no respect for woman! ”

        I’m not the person you’re responding to, but as someone who has no regrets in sleeping with the women he did, I can say that you are full of it. I have plenty of self-esteem. I have a good job, a good home, and a good wife. Sleeping with those women did not affect how good I feel about myself or life in general. 

        Also, I respected all those women. If they wanted sex, I gave it to them. If they didn’t, then I backed off. It’s as simple as that. I also did not have sex with drunk women unless they consented when they were sober (and I’ve had plenty of opportunities to do so). 

        People who don’t have respect for sex will treat it like some insidious weapon. I will not teach the teenagers in my life that they should fear sex. It should not be engaged in without thought of consequence, but accusing people of having no self-esteem because they enjoy sex is part of the problem. If you teach your daughter that, how is she going to react when she does have premarital sex? I’d wager she’d be too ashamed to admit it to you. By taking such a draconian stand against sex, you have successfully ran your daughter off so she can no longer view you as a parent that she can talk with about these matters. 

        “all I have to say is I’m glad I had nothing to do with you.”

        I don’t know who you are, but statistically speaking, I probably had nothing to do with you. And I am freaking thrilled about that. You would be the only woman I’d regret having relations with.

      • Virginia Fell says:

        “If you think having sex before you are married is okay, you obviously grew up with parents who didn’t care wether or not you went to parties, or you spent a ton of time alone with the opposite sex.”

        I hear what you are saying about teaching children to be responsible, but I would really appreciate it if you could try and cool it with the assumptions about why parents might have taught their kids something different than yours taught you. Obviously those lessons were right for you, but I was taught different sexual ethics that worked well for me. 

        My mother divorced her first husband because he was abusive, and her second because he was behaving in ways that were arguably harmless but would have gotten used by the abuser to get custody of me away from her. Her third husband is my dad. I was raised by a woman who didn’t stick with the first man she ever slept with, and it’s part of why I am so well-adjusted today. I’m also probably the first person in three generations of my family to marry someone who wasn’t abusive. Why? 

        Because I made sure that I knew exactly what it would be like to be married to that man before I legally joined our lives. That includes cohabitation and sex. I was taught to be careful and to check absolutely every aspect of a relationship before I made it legally official because by that point it becomes a lot harder to get out if one party needs to.

        I respect that being taught to avoid sex altogether seems to have worked for you, and because of that I am glad it’s what you’ve done. Just please try and respect that not every parent with different priorities is unconcerned or ignorant. Sometimes there are other factors at play that make their situation different than yours was.

      • Wayfarerads says:

        I grew up with 2 parents who cared a lot about where I was and who I was with, parents who are still happily married. They cared alright and while I am sure they (especially my dad) would have preferred I was a virgin until my wedding day, they were also realists who preferred to arm their kids with information, self worth, and the knowledge that no matter what we had their unconditional love. As for advice to teens the one thing I have told my nieces from a young age was to decide before a guy was in the picture just what they were and were not going to do because it’s a heck of a lot easier to make those decisions with a clear head than it is when hormones are raging and the peer pressure might be on…

    • Dog Passion says:

      Not really. You need to make mistakes to learn. Its just like cooking, if you don’t make a mistake then you won’t learn, and if you don’t learn then you stay simple minded. Being simple minded is great when you’re a certain age, but the older you get the more mistakes you want to make. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean the illegal mistakes like drugs, jail, etc. I just mean you need to know what to look out for. You’re not going to be perfect, you’re going to pick a bad egg here and there. If you are perfect on picking your spouse or temporary partner then congratulations! If you’re like most people, you won’t.

  42. Shweta 9315 says:

    So true! Every girl must read this. I’m 17 and I found this really helpful. Thanks a ton for the advice! I shared it on my facebook too. 🙂

  43. Saimeghashri says:

    good one:)

  44. Sue says:

    Well written universal words of wisdom for our daughters. Now get started on the one for our sons! They need this type of advice too. Thanks!

    • Oh boy…I’ve tried! I can’t come up with anything other than, “Don’t Be An Idiot!”

      • Mitzi Trout says:

        I’ve actually got the beginnings of a list, but I don’t have a blog, so if you would like to go from my list, you’re welcome.

      • Tehferalhamster says:

        “Don’t treat women like crap unless you want to be buried under the porch.” That’s a useful one to have 🙂 How about this:

        Nobody really looks like that.  Stop trying to achieve the impossible.

        That eighty dollar pair of jeans looks exactly the same as that thirty dollar pair of jeans.

        In ten years you will be nothing like the person you are today.   I
        know you don’t believe me.  But please try not to embarrass the future

        Having a baby as a teenager is not like getting a new Xbox. Your friends will not want to come over and play with it for hours with a few beers.

        Learn how to make a bed, sew a button, and clean a bathroom.

        It does not hurt when you say, “Ok, let’s wait until you’re ready”. You will not spontaneously combust or become a girl.

        Do not text pictures of your body parts to teenage girls.  I can’t even begin to explain how this makes them think that you are said body part.

        Axe body spray should be worn to freshen up, not knock them out.

        You will remember your first time your entire life.  Make sure you can remember it.

        Do not post Facebook pictures of yourself scantily dressed in your bathroom mirror.  Everyone hates it.

        If you must, a two drink limit keeps things in perspective.

        Learn to cook.

        You do not have to be tomorrow, who you were yesterday.

        If you have to look in the mirror more than twice a day, you are spending too much time on your looks.

        There is a fine line between suave and sleazy. If you don’t know what the line is, you are probably sleazy.

        Showing your manhood is not what attracts her.  She knows what’s in
        there and her imagination is even more generous than your proportions. 
        Cover yourself a bit…and give her something to think about.

        Wear uncomfortable shoes sometimes.

        Sometimes lust feels like love.  Identify the difference as soon as possible and you will have fewer regrets.

        If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to know you are doing it, don’t do it.

        Pants and a shirt always wins.

        Playing know-all only makes you look stupid.

        Peer pressure is no excuse for stupidity.

        If she says the words, “But, if you loved me you would…” run the other direction. Don’t walk, run.

        There will be moments later in life when you wonder what the Hell you
        were thinking back then.  At each pivotal moment of your teenage years,
        ask yourself whether this could be one of them.

  45. Crazymojen says:


  46. Amandafridenberg says:

    Iys great advice that we could only hope they will listen to. I know of a few adult women who could use some of this advice as well!

  47. Starsln8 says:

    I am currently a seventeen year old and this is very nice to read and very true. My mom always says these to me but I always think its just her but it’s not every mom says it because it is true.

    • Nona says:

      Starsln8 – Actually many mothers are taking the time to say this but unfortunately many kids (male & female) aren’t listening because it is Mom saying it.

      I will say the one thing I have told all three of my children since they began dating. 
      “If you’re not being treated with love and respect, check your price tag.
      Perhaps you may have marked yourself down.
      It’s YOU and only you who tells people what you’re worth by what you accept.
      Get off the clearance rack and get behind the glass where they keep the valuables!
      Learn to value yourself more! If you don’t, no one else will.”

  48. Halie Hanshaw says:

    Love it!! I’m a teenager and I really am taking this into consideration! 🙂 thank u

  49. J Kos says:

    I love it!  I’m passing it on to my nieces.  I wish there was a way you could incorporate at that age boys are learning how to communicate with girls as much as girls are learning how to communicate with boys.   There needs to be a list like this for the boys too! 
    Somehow these kids need to learn a little compassion towards each other. 

  50. Debbie Reindel says:

    This is wonderful!  and I’ve just plastered it to my teenage daughters Facebook walls!

  51. Lauren Vlad says:

    This is amazing, I have to show this to my sister, she has two little girls right now, tiny girls but they will need this when they become teens and I am sure they would want to hear it from their Aunt rather than their mom. This is also good to pass along to my girl students. Thanks for this! You are amazing

  52. Karen Kelsay says:

    Makes sense for adults, too.

  53. Cyndey says:

    An awesome way to word this for the teen today.  I think it should be printed & slipped into all the girls lockers at school! Too many of them are ‘putting it out there’ and one only is left to wonder what the homelife is like to put a girl in a position to look for ‘love’ somewhere she doesn’t belong.  I have copied this and printed it for our daughter.  She will find it on her pillow when she gets home from school today.

  54. Tamara says:

    I hope it is ok to copy and repost this. I love your advice and I wish I had seen it 15 years ago.

  55. Wendy A says:

    I have to disagree with what you said about the jeans! Designer jeans look soooo much better than the 40 dollar jeans, and they are not 40 dollars. They cost more like 200 dollars!

    • Eek, I’ve been saving more money than I thought! ha I buy American Eagle almost always…because I like the way they feel and look. They are about 36 bucks and last a good while. I also prefer Levi. But I can’t imagine spending six times that much! 🙂

    • Amy, 19 says:

      wendy, it’s not the jeans that look better, it’s the way they make you feel. confidence is free though, save some money, let it come from inside. use the money to give instead, it will make you feel better than any clothing item ever could.

      • MineRgrown says:

        Love that you already realize it it the confidence that makes the clothes not the other way around.  I have said many times, there is nothing a woman looks better in that CONFIDENCE.  Wear that where ever you go & see the heads turn and the quality of the attention go up, up, up.

    • Tiffany says:

      I agree, Wendy. The quality & craftmanship of designer jeans is unmistakable. I don’t think that teenage girls should feel they have to have designer jeans (nor will I buy them for my teenager–they’re still growing), but as an adult woman, I’ve come to appreciate them. If I really like the way they fit & feel & know they are going to last longer, I think it’s okay to spend more for that quality. This is coming from someone who is a super-bargain shopper/couponer & used to never spend more than $50 on a pair of jeans (usually around $15). Once I splurged & then I understood the appeal. I don’t depend on them to give me confidence, but I like knowing that I will end up spending less in the long run.

  56. cassseyyleahh says:

    im 13 and thins advise is amazing i resintly had a situation involving somethings you talk about and they mean sooo much to me to see that people have the same ideas i do Do not text pictures of your body to teenage boys. I can’t even begin to explain how this cheapens my favourit line knowing my situation

    • AWESOME!!! I’m SO glad, at your age, you understand what many adults do not! Keep it up! I’ve actually gotten several responses in my email from other teens, like yourself, who feel that way. GOOD JOB!!! (Your parents are doing a good job!)

  57. shyc says:

    Love this advice. And feel compelled to add something a little harsh, but I think every teenage girl should realize. Having sex will neither confirm that you are attractive or desirable. Some boys, not all of them ofcourse, will have sex with you purely because you are willing, and without being particularly attracted to or even like you…don’t be that girl…

  58. Erin says:

    How about advice on doing well in school? Finding her passion? Exploring her creativity? Traveling while she can? Loving herself before she settle with a partner, if she settles? Setting goals and following through with them?

    Am I the only one who thinks this post is a little centered on boys and looks?

    • shyc says:

      Well, unfortunately, that’s what the vast majority of teenage girls are centered on…this kind of advice I think is to help shift their focus on the more important aspects of life, like what you posted. Because if they’re not interested in it already, you’re just going to sounds like one of Charlie Brown’s teachers trying to talk them about those things… just speaking from personal experience  

      • Shyc, well said!  The response I was thinking was along the same lines…the girls who NEED the advice aren’t going to hear it unless you put it in plain language…and the girls thinking about doing well in school, traveling, exploring who she is…doesn’t NEED the advice! ha  I always wonder why people want to tell me what I should have written…I mean, if they don’t like it, move on.  They are free to create their own blog and write it how they think it should have been written. And I’m not being sarcastic…I mean it…everyone is entitled to their own opinion…I’m just not sure why people feel compelled to tell me what mine should be! hahaha 😉 

        • Jeniphert says:

          Ur smart… and kind. My response felt very sarcastic (in my head). Keep up the good work with words BW mama

        • Pam says:

          well said 🙂

        • jess says:

          Hmm.  As a counselor for addicted teens, I can say with confidence that the very girls who are ‘obsessed’ with looks or boys are EXACTLY the girls who need to hear that they can travel, explore, and be creative, wonderful, thoughtful, engaging people. All young people need to have adults in their life who believe they can live in this way. Sadly, most girls are primed from birth to conform to beauty standards: pink, princessy toys that cement a distorted perspective of femininity…Disney cartoons that perpetuate helplessness and dependence on permission and acceptance from men….Dolls with flawless skin….teenybopper top40 ‘musicians’ promoting sexual independence… What little girl steeped in this doesn’t want the romance and social ‘rescue’ from boys by the time she becomes a teen, fleeting and false as it might be? She’s just trying to be whirled away by her prince without understanding why Mom is telling her it’s wrong.
          That being said, a message of adventure and intelligence doesn’t preclude the above advice, it simply takes it a step farther, and in a sense is the other side of the coin: Take a negative out, replace with a positive.
          I sure appreciate points like getting an education and swinging a hammer, changing oil, and flipping a breaker. Sounds to me, Backwoods Mom, that you are already living out a fantastic life that is role-modelling those things to your younsters!

        • Ash says:

           “I always wonder why people want to tell me what I should have written”
          You write a BLOG. Are you uninterested in hearing anything but praise for your words? Yes, a few of the things you say are on point — I particularly liked “You do not have to be tomorrow who you were yesterday”. But it seems to me that you are prone to marginalizing teenage girls, reducing them to stereotypes and then blaming them for their own inexperience. Your backhanded “advice” only makes young women feel LESS in control and LESS empowered. Saying things like “If you don’t know what the line is, you are probably sleazy” to teenage girls is SHAMEFUL. What are you, a 16-year old popular girl?

          • No need to attack. I can hear you, even if you use kind words. I’m curious…have you read any more of my writing…or just this piece? You might want to look at my track record of success with teenagers prior to making judgment. And no…I was not a 16 year old popular girl…I was a 16 year old pregnant girl.

    • Wil says:

      BECAUSE the teen-age girls who need to hear this are the one’s centered on Boys .

  59. Leah B says:

    I just found this via my friend on Facebook, thank you so much! It is so true, every word of it. 

    @acdbd84c941e2cd069cc71202d97d664:disqus  and @backwoodsmom:disqus , I would love to have the Hebrew version of this, would you be able to share? 

  60. sharricharan says:

    Great advice–glad I stumbled across this post!

  61. Shonaker82 says:

    Excellent Advice for ANY Woman!!!!

  62. Rachel Inbar says:

    Would love your permission to translate this to Hebrew (& then you can post it wherever you want, as long as a link will let my less-than-fluent-in-English daughter read it)

  63. Meg says:

    This was one of the first posts I read of yours and I adored it. It should be on every refigerator!

  64. Kysark2003 says:

    I’m going to post this on my refrigerator!

  65. Sr. Chpln. Roger E. Graham says:

    Begin now to pray for your future husband. He NEEDS it more than anything else.

  66. Sr. Chpln. Roger E. Graham says:

    Begin now to pray for your husband. He NEEDS it.

  67. Sr. Chpln. Roger E. Graham says:


    • Orygunmomof3 says:

      The “try it before  you buy it” does NOT apply to humans, sorry… just doesn’t.

      • frijolitofarmer says:

        No? So dating is right out then. For that matter, why insist on an introduction? Just draw a name out of a hat and marry that person.

        Making an uninformed choice to jump into a lifelong commitment is just plain irresponsible. I can see someone taking your advice, marrying somebody, and then finding out on their honeymoon that their spouse is actually transgendered. Oops! Guess you’re stuck!

        The only place “try it before you buy it” doesn’t apply to humans is in familial relationships. You don’t get to choose your children or parents. Your spouse is the one person you get to make sure you’re completely  compatible with before committing to them for life.

        • Cerridwen says:

          Typical male response to sex.  The lives of all the ‘females’ you practiced on were probably not enhanced by your ‘test drives’, unfortunately… must not have children and especially not girls….

          • Kuildeous says:

            Interesting how Wayne didn’t even mention sex, but you went right there. Your assumptions hint at something dark in your life. You should address that demon before you demonize others.

            That said, there should be opportunities for couples to get to know and explore each other. These do not necessarily need to be first-date lays. A couple can date each other for a long time and learn what it’s like to be together without regret. 

            If you focus too much on regret, then that’s all you’re going to get.

        • Nona says:

          Too bad the responders to this can only think about the sexual aspect. Being female and not only a mother to both male & female am also a grandmother to both, I agree whole-heartedly. 

          Now, before the rage & attacks begin, really read what is said.
          “Making an uninformed choice to jump into a lifelong commitment is just plain irresponsible.”   This is completely accurate and Mr. Shingler is not saying sleep with EVERYONE you date.  Take the time to get to know the other person.  While “Try it before you buy it” sounds a bit sterile & promiscuous at the same time, I would suggest after getting to know this person, verifying the physical compatibility is important to resolve before the marriage.

    • Angelia Sparrow says:

      For what? a rainy day?

  68. April Collins says:

    I think this is my favorite of all your posts. 

  69. Erin says:

    Love it! Wish I had it growing up.

  70. The Atomic Mom says:

    I see the facebook likes on this post?  Anyway, this was teh first post I ever read of your blog, and I’ve kept coming back since the summer.  You have a great blog and I love to read it.  Keep it up!

    • I think what shows up is the “likes” for the facebook page…not the “likes” or “shares” for each post.  In order for me to get advertising on my page, to help offset costs of the blog, I need high numbers, as far as how many people have visited or “liked” or “shared” each post.  High numbers means high traffic, means people will pay me to advertise on my page. 🙂  And THANKS for reading and coming back! 

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